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21st Birthday (A Women's Murder Club…
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21st Birthday (A Women's Murder Club Thriller) (edition 2021)

by James Patterson (Author), Maxine Paetro (Author)

Series: Women's Murder Club (21)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
336965,776 (3.54)4
Detective Lindsay Boxer vows to protect a young woman from a serial killer long enough to see her twenty-first birthday. When young wife and mother Tara Burke goes missing with her baby girl, all eyes are on her husband, Lucas. He paints her not as a missing person but a wayward wife--until a gruesome piece of evidence turns the investigation criminal.    While Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas pursues the story and M.E. Claire Washburn harbors theories that run counter to the SFPD's, ADA Yuki Castellano sizes Lucas up as a textbook domestic offender . . . who suddenly puts forward an unexpected suspect. If what Lucas tells law enforcement has even a grain of truth, there isn't a woman in the state of California who's safe from the reach of an unspeakable threat.… (more)
Member:travelgal
Title:21st Birthday (A Women's Murder Club Thriller)
Authors:James Patterson (Author)
Other authors:Maxine Paetro (Author)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2021), 417 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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21st Birthday by James Patterson

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Like some other reviewers have stated, I, too, am getting disillusioned with Patterson's writings. There were some major discrepancies in the story line. This could have been a great book with proper editing.
All 4 women are somehow involved with this one case. Cindy (reporter) is contacted by a distraught mother whose daughter and granddaughter has gone missing. Cindy has the mother to contact Lindsey (police) to get them involved. The husband is arrested and Yuki (the DA) prosecutes with Claire giving medical information at the trial. That's the basis of the book; however, like most of Paterson's books, there are twists and turns. ( )
  travelgal | Sep 22, 2022 |
This is another fast-paced instalment of the long running series, with good characters and a twisting plot, and a return to form for this writing duo. Only slight grumble was the ending that left me wanting a little bit more, but well worth a read!! ( )
  RichardKennet | Mar 31, 2022 |
This review was originally written for NetGalley at this link... https://www.netgalley.com/book/214552/review/670189

James Patterson has churned out numerous bestsellers over many decades—probably more than any other contemporary author—and he doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. 21st Birthday by Patterson and Maxine Paetro is the twenty-first book in the long-running Women’s Murder Club series featuring the four formidable women—and the dearest of friends—who fight crime like nobody else: Cindy the Journalist, Lindsay the Homicide Sergeant, Claire the Medical Examiner and Yuki the Assistant District Attorney.

In their latest case, Cindy is implored by a hysterical woman to look into the disappearance of her twenty-year-old daughter and sixteen-month-old granddaughter whom she believes her son-in-law has murdered. With no proof of any kind that he has committed the crime apart from the woman’s allegations, Lindsay draws her superior’s ire by investigating the son-in-law, Lucas, after being briefed by Cindy. Soon, things heat up as the dead body of the little girl washes up on the shore and more bodies of young women—all killed in a similar fashion—start to turn up. When the police arrest Lucas based on the threadbare evidence they have against him, he puts forward a theory that makes what the police have unearthed so far seem like only the tip of an iceberg.

21st Birthday’s strength lies in its superfast narrative and the short chapters that make the pages turn and turn relentlessly. The lead characters and their relationships are very well established in the earlier books and their easy camaraderie shines through in this one too. The shocking twist in the middle of the novel is totally unexpected and makes the reader turn the pages faster still.

But, in the end, the reader is left disappointed by the heavily rushed, utterly unconvincing conclusion that leaves way too many questions unanswered. There is no satisfactory explanation why and how several of the murders happen, and it is questionable that the killer remains free in spite of the law enforcement agency’s knowledge of his doings for a long time. Though the members of the Club play their parts quite efficiently, they do not actually solve the crime this time but the enigmatic killer himself does it for them.

21st Birthday is my first taste of the Women’s Murder Club series and, going by this book alone, I’m not much impressed. In my opinion, this book will appeal only to diehard fans of this series and James Patterson in general. For others, reading Patterson’s brilliant thrillers from the past would be a far more enjoyable experience. My sincere gratitude to the authors and the publishers of 21st Birthday, and NetGalley, for the e-ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. ( )
  aravind_aar | Nov 21, 2021 |
In Cindy's office, a woman claims her son-in-law, Lucas Burke, has harmed her daughter, Tara, and her baby granddaughter. Cindy calls Lindsay to ask for help. New organization at SFPD, with Clapper, former head of forensic science is now chief. He tells Lindsay to leave it to missing persons.
When bodies turn up, homicide is assigned to the case. Lindsay gets partnered with Brady, and Conklin gets partnered with new cop from Vegas--Alvarez.
Lucas swears innocence. As case unfolds, Cindy gets material for new book on prolific serial killer.
I thought the book had too pat of an ending. Killer wants to be famous so he gives Cindy all the info on his killings and confesses. Seems like it came out of the blue to quickly wrap the book. ( )
  rmarcin | Aug 14, 2021 |
3.5 stars, definitely a step up over the previous books since the Club members are all involved. Tara Burke and her infant daughter disappear, ostensibly after a fight with her husband over her spendthrift ways. Her husband Lucas, is of course, the primary suspect, especially because Tara's mother publicly accuses him of abuse in a posting on Cindy's blog at the San Francisco Examiner, and even further, when his affair with a high school senior is revealed. Cindy refers the mother to her WMC partner, detective Sergeant Lindsay Boxer of the SFPD. Lindsay bucks protocol and the direct orders of the new police chief, commencing her investigation, even though the case is in Missing Persons. When the baby's body is found at the beach, dead not by drowning but suffocation according to chief medical examiner Claire Washburn. Lucas has an alibi, and then bodies start piling up. When a murder weapon is found with his prints, Lucas is arrested and prosecution of the case is assigned to WMC's own Yuki Castellano. Lucas's defense is that someone close to him did it, and Lindsay works this angle via husband Joe's shady friend in Washington. At the end, it's still not clear whodunit. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Detective Lindsay Boxer vows to protect a young woman from a serial killer long enough to see her twenty-first birthday. When young wife and mother Tara Burke goes missing with her baby girl, all eyes are on her husband, Lucas. He paints her not as a missing person but a wayward wife--until a gruesome piece of evidence turns the investigation criminal.    While Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas pursues the story and M.E. Claire Washburn harbors theories that run counter to the SFPD's, ADA Yuki Castellano sizes Lucas up as a textbook domestic offender . . . who suddenly puts forward an unexpected suspect. If what Lucas tells law enforcement has even a grain of truth, there isn't a woman in the state of California who's safe from the reach of an unspeakable threat.

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